Engage San Francisco Literacy

Engage San Francisco (ESF) literacy is a reading tutoring program housed within the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. As part of the Engage San Francisco initiative, ESF literacy seeks to promote educational equity for children living in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco. 

Paid tutoring opportunities are available at nearby public elementary schools and community organizations, all within a 10-minute radius by bus or on foot from USF's main campus. 

Specific responsibilities vary by partner site and may include:

  • Reading with children or playing literacy games
  • Helping children complete homework
  • Engaging with children during playtime, athletics, or other enrichment activities

ESF literacy tutors are paid solely by Federal Work Study dollars. All USF students must have a Federal Work Study Award to apply. 

  • Fall 2020: Apply by Tuesday, September 1, 2020 | Begin tutoring in September 2020
  • Spring 2021: Apply by Sunday, November 15, 2020 | Begin tutoring in February 2021
  • Must have a Federal Work Study (FWS) award of at least $3,000 for the 2020/2021 academic year. To view your FWS award amount, login at myusf.usfca.edu and access Banner. For additional support, refer to step-by-step instructions or send an email to Student Employment (stuemp@office.usfca.edu).

  • Must be enrolled in 17 credits or less for Fall 2020. Exceptions can be made sparingly in some cases for students enrolled in 18+ credits - please inquire if applicable.
  • Must enroll in a weekly, 1-hour, 1-credit course as part of start-up training for 1 full year (2 consecutive semesters). The course is taught by Dr. Onllwyn Dixon, an adjunct faculty member with USF's School of Education and takes place in the McCarthy Center (281 Masonic Ave). Tentative class times and days are:
    • For Fall 2020, the course meets Thursdays, 5:30pm - 6:30pm 
    • For Spring 2021,  the course will be either on Tuesdays or Thursdays, between 5:30pm and 7:30pm.
    • NOTE: If you are enrolled in a degree/credentialing program within the Undergraduate Teacher Education Center (UTEC) this start-up training requirement is modified. UTEC students must instead attend a separate, non-credit-bearing training catered specifically to future teachers.
  • Must be available to work a minimum of a single 3-hour shift, 1 day per week, for 1 full academic year. Shifts are available Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 6pm.
  • Must attend bi-monthly, 1-hour team meetings on weekday evenings at placement sites. All placement sites are nearby elementary schools or nonprofit organizations.
  • Must pass a criminal background check / LiveScan fingerprints.
  • Must pass a Tuberculosis (TB) Risk Assessment.
  • Must pass a reference check. We will contact 2 references you provide - preferably former supervisors that have seen you in action working with children and youth.
  • Must be in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing with the university. All applicants must give the Office of Student Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities permission to release any information in their disciplinary records to the McCarthy Center.


Questions? Email djsmith8@dons.usfca.edu